A giant octopus has taken up residence at Edinburgh’s children’s hospital, leaving bosses bamboozled as to where it has come from and why it is here. 

The super-sized squid, known by the children at the hospital as “Olly”, is showing no sign of relocating and therefore staff, children and families have decided the only solution is to move themselves. 

Fortunately, the brand new Royal Hospital for Children and Young People (RHCYP) at Little France is soon ready to open, providing a spotless, octopus-free home for children and families from Edinburgh and beyond.

Fiona Mitchell, Service Director, Women’s and Children’s Services, NHS Lothian said: “We don’t know where Olly came from but he’s extremely friendly and certainly seems to have made himself at home here at the Royal Hospital for Sick Children. 

“We suspect he sensed just how much love, care and memories this building holds, got all warm and cosy and couldn’t bring himself to leave. 

“Unfortunately, with eight legs to navigate around, he takes up a quite a lot of space. Luckily for us, we have the new state-of-the-art hospital just down the road at Little France, so we’re getting ready to move there instead.” 

It’s been really lovely to have Olly’s company while staying at the Sick Kids, but I’ve heard the new hospital has a flying dragon, a bagpipe playing dog and a snoring giant, so I’m very excited to meet them. I can’t wait!

Chloe (11), a regular visitor to the hospital

Roslyn Neely, CEO of ECHC, said: “Olly has obviously heard about the tremendous care that the hospital provides and all the fun and distraction provided by our charity. 

“However, we will soon have to bid him farewell as the time comes for us to move to our new home at the RHCYP. No child or young person wants to be in hospital, but for those who have to visit the new building, NHS Lothian and ECHC will be there to care for and support them to make their time there as positive as possible. 

“For now, we’ll be leaving the wonderful Sick Kids hospital in Olly’s eight capable hands.”

ECHC partnered with NHS Lothian to install the inflatable octopus at the Sick Kids to create excitement about the move to the new Royal Hospital for Children and Young People and to reassure children, young people and families that this was a positive step for the city.